Music Reviews
Out Of Love

Mister Heavenly Out Of Love

(Sub Pop) Rating - 8/10

After a quick introduction to Mister Heavenly, you’re not sure if this band is the result of some divine plan or a happy accident. Man Man frontman Ryan Kattner, Nick Thornburn from Islands and Modest Mouse drummer Joe Plummer, all apples that fell from different trees, rolled together to form Sub Pop’s new brainchild. Initially, unlikely collaborations will always attract curiosity, but if the attention remains superficial or not will depend on the caliber of sound and mass appeal. Since all three of these cats stem from profiles higher than their current debut condition, loads of preconceived notions over a range of different perspectives form prior to hitting play.

Despite all the premature judgments, Out Of Love resonates with sighs of relief. This is definitely not a fiasco. It’s “doom wop”, a self-proclaimed sub-genre that sounds exactly like the name suggests: low frequency, slower melodies and sobering doo-wop harmonies. Nick Thorburn told Spinner magazine that he “coined the term facetiously” but it seems to be catching on as the working title of this thesis. If you’re looking for an assortment that reflects the depth and malleability of this combo platter of artists, you will be slightly disappointed by the exclusivity. This is one sound and one sound only: doom wop.

The only outliers are Bronx Sniper, and ironically enough the one track titled Doom Wop, which showcase more metal accents with hints of noise pop. My personal favorite Reggae Pie, has grungy harmonies with Sublime-ish melodies and beats that can also place it slightly out of the main context. The rest of this album is the soundtrack to a 1950’s greaser romance movie. Within the first 10 seconds of Charlyne, Diddy Eyes, and Hold My Hand, this is extremely apparent. Some of the others will throw out a few guitar riffs and heaving drumming before they fall right back into line.

Kattner and Thornburn beautifully represent their prospective places on the vocal spectrum creating a sweet and sinister sound. As we’ve already established, the harmonies are drenched in traditional doo-wop, most melodies and beats are intricate enough to take away the simplicity that the chosen time period usually reflects. Most of all, the music is a nostalgic trip to a time that most of its listeners have never actually experienced. That concept makes Out Of Love enchanting, but it’s one of those albums that mood, time, place and company all have to line up correctly to capture the intended experience. Listen to this with your parents and wear leather jackets; hell, you can even grab a partner and slow dance to some of these tracks. And if Michael Cera decides to step in as bass player at one point during a live show again, you can have your full cinematic experience and pretend you’re an extra in his latest movie. Super dreamy.